A new monthly free meal for students and young adults has started in Old Ottawa South. Open Table Carleton had its first meal March 8th, and will have one more on April 12th before taking a break for the summer. The meals are hosted by Trinity Anglican Church, on the corner of Bank St. and Cameron Ave. The meals are the 2nd Sunday of the month during the school year. Doors open at 5:30 and the meal is served at 6 p.m.

This same initiative has existed in Sandy Hill since 2009. Students and young adults in Sandy Hill know it quite well, and they know that if you want leftovers, the event is #BYOT – Bring Your Own Tupperware.

The Open Table is an ecumenical ministry that is denominationally, a partnership of the Lutherans, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and United Church, and is congregationally, a partnership of local neighbourhood churches who take turns providing the home- cooked meals.

In March, the F.A.I.T.H. Team from St. James Anglican Church provided the main meal and Trin-
ity provided the dessert. On April 12th, Fourth Avenue Baptist has volunteered to provide the meal. St. James youth decided to get involved after their leader, Donna Rourke, took them to visit Open Table Sandy Hill. The youth left determined to get involved. When they heard that Open Table Carleton had started, they immediately volunteered to take the first month. Donna explains that her group’s enthusiasm is because many of these teens will soon be looking for programs like Open Table. “This year five of our F.A.I.T.H. Team will be graduating from high school and transitioning to university in September. This kind of program is of huge value to these youth and demonstrates to them one of the many programs that will be available to them as they journey through to the next stage in their life.”

As well as working at Trinity, I coordinate Open Table Carleton and have been working on getting the word out to students and young adults in the neighbourhood. It has been interesting getting their reactions when I tell them about Open Table. Those who are familiar with the Pause Table at Carleton during exam time get it, but others say ‘what’s the catch?’ and are surprised to hear that the agenda is simply hospitality. To the churches involved this is a no-brainer. We are here to serve the community, and an easy way to do that is to offer a space to students and young adults to de-stress and have a good meal with friends.

Read the full article in The OSCAR here

Kiersten Jensen
Community Development Coordinator
Open Table Carleton


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